This piece originally appeared on PureWow.com.
While it’s nearly impossible to prevent all types of hair damage, there are a few things you should probably — errr, definitely — stop doing (rubbing wet hair with a towel being one of them). Read on for a few habits we all need to kick to the curb.
1. Picking at Your Split Ends
News flash: It can create even more split ends (and we think you might be going cross-eyed trying to find them).
2. Compulsive Twirling
Nervous ticks are hard to break. But don’t let that affect your ends. Find something else (pen flipping?) to keep your hands occupied.
3. Avoiding Haircuts
If you want your hair to grow faster and look healthier, keep it trimmed.
4. Brushing Too Much
Contrary to popular belief (and Marcia Brady), 100 brush strokes a night is actually pretty terrible for your mane. It breaks and pulls out unnecessary amounts of hair. Just a few strokes to untangle will do.
5. Wearing a Ponytail or Topknot Seven Days a Week
Constant pressure to the same place in your hair shaft can weaken it over time and, believe it or not, stunt growth.
6. Sleeping in Either of Those
Full disclosure: This is our personal weakness — and also why we’re crying to our stylist.
7. Rubbing Your Wet Hair with a Towel
A recipe for frizz. Post-shower hair should be gently squeezed with a towel — not wrung out. Watch this quick video for the proper technique.
8. Brushing Hair While Wet
Wide-tooth combs — used gently — only.
9. Combining Hair Spray and Your Hot Iron
The alcohol in most hair sprays burns when it comes into contact with heat. Apply a thermal protector before hot ironing and then fire the hair spray only afterward.
10. Setting the Heat Too High
FYI: A safe range for your flat iron is between 250 to 300 degrees (which is generally the low or medium setting). Curly-haired ladies: Patience, not higher heat, pays off.
11. Letting Your Styling Tools Get Gunky
Your brush, dryer, flat iron and curling tools can actually accumulate a decent amount of bacteria. Make sure to wipe them clean with an antibacterial cloth every so often (obviously when cool).
12. Washing Your Hair Every Day
We’ve mentioned this before, but daily washing removes hair’s natural oils and proteins, which can dry it out. It’s best to give your tresses a break every few days (i.e., washing it only when it’s actually dirty). Squelch root grease with dry shampoo.